Some “get rich quick” internet scams have the decency to target people who are gullible and greedy, as well as having more money than brain cells. (Oh, maybe I’m thinking of hedge funds, rather than email cons, here.)
Apathy Sketchpad has a few posts showing how to deal with some classic Nigerian scams.
There’s a more distasteful type of con that preys upon the mark’s charitable impulses and/or their religious beliefs, rather than their greed.
I found Sam Gipp’s “A Friend to Churches Ministries” site by following a link from fstdt. I was sniggering at posts like this, while thinking how glad I am there’s a whole ocean between me and the ground such people walk on:
Welcome to the U.S.S.A.
Since the “November Revolution” when the Communist Party took over our government and began its conversion to “GODvernment” the old United States of America is gone, replaced by a new entity: the United Socialist States of America. Here are some of the differences between these two countries.
Then I spotted this tale on the about page:
You all know that, in all the years I’ve written these letters I have never asked anyone to send us money…Don’t worry!…I’m not going to start now. But there is an Urgent Need that I am going to tell you about & ask you to help.
Well, I know you aren’t going to do anything so vulgar as to ask for money, Sam. It’s not as if I don’t trust you implicitly.
Carl & Leta Miller have been missionaries to Scotland for 23 years. They have been faithful through extremely difficult times. Their daughter, Libby, has had severe health problems. Carl has had surgery on the retinas in both eyes, needs to have his knees replaced, also his hips and has fought off cancer in his bladder. He cannot walk without leaning on his wife, Leta. Unfortunately, Leta is not much better. She has a severe back problem and uses two canes to walk. The great, government health care program won’t even look at her for surgery until they deem it, “Life threatening.” It takes 18 months just to get a pain shot. (Just wait until we have that here!)
Missionaries to Scotland? Hmm. It’s not as if Scotland isn’t already bursting with various Christian sects. This already stretches credulity.
But the next bit blows any residual credulity right out of the water.
“It takes 18 months to get a pain shot.” Eighteen months! Are you insane? Well, OK, the Scots are stereotypically seen as tough, after all. Who knows what is normal in those strange Northern regions?… (Just, never try to take their Freedom.)
Based on an ultra-conservative perspective, he is insulting what he sarcastically calls our “great, government health care program” as if it provides a service that would compare unfavourably with what you’d expect to find in a Somalian war zone.
But, in fact, judging by the long list of health problems suffered by his doughty missionaries, they’ve already benefited from plenty of nationalised health care, including a series of surgeries that would have bankrupted the average American family. What are these people? Health tourists?
We talked to my doctor. He said he would look at her. Get this! The Millers have put every penny into their mission work and couldn’t even afford the plane ticket for Leta to come here for tests. Kathy & I bought her the ticket and paid for the tests. My doctor says he can help here. He said without the surgery she is headed for a wheelchair. Leta is now back in Scotland. The Millers are coming to Louisville in January. A brother has provided airline tickets, a lady at Shawnee Baptist Church is giving them a place to stay and another church is renting them a car. Here’s their problem; they have no health insurance at all. The hospital costs are going to be around $200,000-$250,000.
But, wait. Hooray! He can get these costs discounted! As long as they get the money REALLY REALLY fast.
But! My wonderful wife has talked to the folks at the hospital. They said they will reduce the cost by 60%! They also said, if the bill is paid within 30 days after surgery they will drop it another 20%.
Don’t you just love the idea that a hospital could so drastically reduce a bill of a quarter of a million dollars for a quick sale?
Word For The World Baptist Missions has started a “Leta Miller Medical Fund.” We have given and several churches have also helped. They need around $50,000. Around $15,000 has already come in. Will you help? If they can raise the $50,000 by surgery time, January 26, 2009, they can pay the surgery off and save thousands of dollars.
Wow, how economical is that. Praise the Lord!
But, stop right there, Sam
Gyp Gipp. Let me save your donors a few more Yankee dollars. Guess what? We also have private medical care in the UK. Your $15k could buy the unlucky Leta as much UK health care as she can handle. Yes, even in heathen Scotland.